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5 Mistakes that Zero Networking Down to None - And How to Fix Them

Published on 18 March 15

Internet gives a luxurious opportunity to reach out to people all across the world, seek wisdom of field mavens, consult business titans and communicate with people in your sphere, scattered all around the globe.

However, sometimes networking goes wrong. You send lots of emails, you reach out to different people, ask for an interview, offer to provide some feedback, call for a sound piece of advice, but results simply donât show up.

And while some people will just say you ânetworking sucks,' youâre a smart person, and youâll figure out networking has just gone wrong for you. The luck is, it still can be fixed and, what is more important, streamlined in the right direction. Here are 5 most common networking mistakes and suggestions on how to fix them.

5 Mistakes that Zero Networking Down to None - And How to Fix Them - Image 1
1. You donât take into consideration the YOU side of networking

Yes, you reach out to people to seek their council or consult in regards to some working issue, for instance. But still, itâs you in the center of networking. Itâs all about what YOU need and what YOU expect.

Taking into consideration the interests of your networking partner is key, no doubts here, yet at the end of the day, a person who puts own networking goals at the head of the table wins eventually.

In addition, not everyone is a networking material. If you donât get along with people well, networking isnât for you. To put simply, it wonât bring you any effect you expected. Maybe, youâre all okay with your own head on shoulders?
2. You donât keep terms with networking partners once a project is over

As it was mentioned in the previous point, communicational and interpersonal skills are front-page in networking. Maintaining contacts with people you networked once is the foundation of the entire concept. If you stopped communicating with an expert once you no more needing his or her advising, the person would forget about you too, and the connection will be gone for good. Need someoneâs council once again? Nah, forget about it, you were off radars for too long.

To avoid that, keep in touch with people you networked with. Even if you donât want or donât like to, itâs key for business in general and networking in particular. Send an email once in a while, twitt, drop a line in Facebook every month or two. Plus, itâs called âgood mannersâ, but somehow people on the Internet forget about it.
3. You offer nothing in return

Most of the time, networking is a mutually beneficial cooperation. As it usually goes, both parties have a particular benefit to pursue, and if you have zero good to offer in return for someoneâs interest in your project, be ready for refusal or information that is next-to-useless.

To fix it, think of things you can offer in return. Show potential, show long-term benefits, show skills. In addition, itâs your project that must arouse curiosity and desire to help with it.

4. You have no idea what do you actually want or pursue

When you reach out to a person with a certain request, suggestion or offer, it has to be to-the-point, relevant and informative. Wishy-washy inquiries, where a person has no clue as to what do you actually want, miss the target miles off wide.

Therefore, as suggested by my collegues from before bringing networking in the active phase, fetch a clear to-do plan with all the action items specified one after another. Think of supposed questions a person might have regarding your project or request, figure out what exactly might be the hook landing an expert on your side.
You forgot about financial expeditures
Drinks, snacks, souvenirs, lunches, air ticket, hotel stay⦠Networking has many faces, and some of them are pretty costly. Draw up the budget in advance, if certain expenses are to be made in the process. Even a small gratitude gesture - sending a present for great assistance provided - has a price tag on it. Thus, you wallet should be networking-ready too.
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